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SGL Carbon AG said full year operating profits will fall by 20-25 pct from the 80 mln eur according to IAS accounting standards posted last year as a result of the high start-up and investment costs incurred by its new unit SGL Technologies.
Operating profits in business excluding the new unit will drop by around 10 pct, it said. In 2002, SGL plans to cut net debt by significantly lowering working capital and investments as capital expenditures in fibres, brake discs and fuel cell components have been completed. Cost reduction measures, in addition to those already implemented, are being prepared for 2002, it said. “”In this way, we intend to return to our old levels of profitability once again in the long term,”” said chief executive officer Robert Koehler.
In the third quarter to end-September operating profits fell to 6 mln eur from 22 mln due to the postponement of shipments until the fourth quarter and special charges for its new unit SGL Technologies. SGL is made up of three core businesses of Carbon and Graphite, Specialty Graphite, Corrosion Protection and its new unit SGL Technologies, which includes the brake disc materials and fuel cell components projects.SGL Technologies results were burdened by the continued deteroriation of the US steel industry, the high ramp-up costs for its brake disc business and the significant fall in demand for carbon fibres in the computer and aviation industries.
In the fourth quarter, operating profits are expected to improve year-on-year in the graphic electrode and corrosion protection business area as the delayed shipments are carried out and SGL will lower losses in its SGL Technologies unit against previous quarters. Net profits in the first nine months fell to a loss of 1.56 mln eur, from a profit of 0.05 mln as sales declined slightly to 915 mln eur from 916.5 mln last year. Operating profit plunged to 5.3 mln eur from 66.2 mln, while EPS came in at a loss of 1.56 eur from a profit of 0.05 eur. jcm/vs
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